We are all acquainted with the skilled and innovative politician that our incumbent PM, Shri Narendra Modi is. Though every new day for him is nothing less than a challenge, courtesy a sea of enemies who want nothing less than his removal from the post they think as their fiefdom, he cares two hoots about them.
In a recent press conference, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj opened up about another facet of Narendra Modi’s personality that could surprise many people about the wits he possesses. In the press conference, she talked about the famous Commonwealth summit which PM Modi had attended recently.
During the course of the summit, PM Modi met many important leaders of the Commonwealth fold including the British PM Theresa May where she raised the issue of the extradition of business baron turned fugitive, Vijay Mallya.
She reported to PM Modi that that the UK courts, who investigated the issue, are concerned about the status of Indian prisons, should Britain agree to extradite Vijay Mallya to India. She wanted to know if Vijay Mallya would be treated well in the prison given that the UK courts found the conditions of Indian prisons ‘far less than satisfactory.’
At this moment, PM Modi, according to Sushma Swaraj, said something that not only left Theresa May dumbstruck, but also displays the brilliant political acumen that he sported. PM Modi simply replied, ‘I know that your courts have come to see the conditions of our jails, and let me tell you that these are the very prisons which housed people like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, among other big Indian leaders, so it wouldn’t be feasible now for the courts to comment on this issue.’
Sushma Swaraj drops a bombshell at Annual PC: Says PM Modi told British PM Theresa May that UK courts have no business to ask about the condition of Indian jails, as these are the same prisons they had held Gandhi and Nehru in! @Vidya_Ram
— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) May 28, 2018
With that, PM Modi has done a brilliant job. He has hit two targets with the same bullet. Not only has he made it known that he’s no pushover unlike his predecessor, but also that he knows the conditions back home really well. If our memory serves us right, Britain is well known for its blatant hypocrisy since ages. The prisons that they had created for their Indian subjects during the British Raj stand a glaring testimony to the same.
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) May 28, 2018
None is unaware of how the Britishers treated people like Jawahar Lal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, when they were imprisoned, and how they treated other freedom fighters like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Mahabir Singh etc., especially in the notorious Cellular Jail. Compared to the revolutionaries and other freedom fighters, the prisons of Nehru and Gandhi were more of five star luxury resorts rather than proper jails.
They were not even forced to work like other prisoners. Even Subhas Chandra Bose and Vallabh bhai Patel, despite coming from affluent families, could never afford such luxury in their lifetime.
Moreover, we hope that the Britishers are not unaware of the luxury that some affluent prisoners continue to have in the prisons. From the notorious days when a normal crook likes Charles Shobhraj turned the Central Jail into a private villa of his own, to the times when Lalu Prasad Yadav can move out at whim, Indian prisons have never been a hell, if at least for the affluent or political prisoners. Even the dreaded underworld don Chhota Rajan chose to surrender chiefly on the premises that he would certainly be treated well in an Indian jail.
So when PM Modi assured PM Theresa May that Vijay Mallya would be treated like any other prisoner in India, he is not only being faithful to his word, but also a skilled diplomat who won’t tolerate hypocrisy at any level. If he manages to bring Vijay Mallya back, it will certainly be a brilliant move that could put the opposition’s claim to the PM post to rest, at least for another 5 years down the line.